Black Rock NY made all the sense in the world as a terminus point for the Erie Canal, and would have become a major 19th century boomtown were it not for the enterprising canal boosters of the City of Buffalo.
Long story short – Buffalo stole the endpoint of the canal from Black Rock, which remained a small village with tons of heart.
I’m very happy to be invited by the Black Rock Historical Society to give this lecture/concert in conjunction with the bicentennial of Erie Canal construction.
And perhaps…with beer in hand!
Funding by Humanities NY and their Public Scholars program.
Here’s a description of the program…
Dave Ruch has spent the last fifteen years searching for Erie Canal music beyond the grade-school favorite “Low Bridge, Everybody Down,” and among other things, discovered that America’s favorite Erie Canal song wasn’t known on the 19th century canal!
In this lecture/concert, Ruch presents music from canal diggers, barge workers, immigrants, lake sailors, mule drivers, canal boat captains, and yes, professional songwriters who all contributed to the musical and cultural life surrounding the canal. With banjo, bones, spoons, washboard, jaw harp, mandolin and more, Ruch presents a highly engaging program of stories, music, history and anecdotes about life on “Clinton’s Ditch,” and the importance of the Erie Canal to the growth of New York City and the nation.